By Nick Clark
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2496

Belgians fear repression after bombings in Brussels

This article is over 6 years, 4 months old
Issue 2496
Brussels activist Farida Aarrass
Brussels activist Farida Aarrass

Bombings in the Belgian capital Brussels had left a reported 31 people dead as Socialist Worker went to press.

Reports say two explosions at Brussels’ Zaventem airport caused by a suicide bombing killed 11 people and injured a further 81.

A further explosion at a metro station in Brussels city centre followed shortly after. The metro operator confirmed that 20 people had been killed and 55 injured.

Activist Farida Aarrass from Brussels told Socialist Worker, “We are all shocked by this horror and sad for the victims who did nothing to deserve that. But we still think that this happened because our leaders never do what they should. Violence only leads to more violence.”

Belgian police were reported to be carrying out raids in Brussels’ suburbs.

Farida added, “We now risk even harsher repression—supposedly to avoid further dangers.

“But we already have soldiers and police on every street corner. We’re living in very tough times. Islamophobic acts will only increase, and it was already going so badly.”

It was not clear who carried out the attacks as Socialist Worker went to press. But many were speculating that it was Isis or another terrorist group.

The bombings follow the arrest of Salah Abdeslam by Belgian police on Friday of last week. He is believed to have been involved in last November’s Paris attacks.

Police shot and arrested Abdeslam along with one other in a shoot-out in Belgium’s Molenbeek district.

From Brussels‘These deaths could have been avoided’

Nordine Saidi of the Brussels Panthers group spoke to Socialist Worker

“I’m wholeheartedly with the wounded and the families of victims. I’m shaken by these terrorist acts which nothing can justify, but unfortunately I am not surprised. Our foreign policy in Libya, Mali, Syria and Iraq, and its effects here—state racism and Islamophobia—cannot be ignored if we want to understand this chaos and escape from it.

“I am enraged by the inhumanity towards deaths that take place ‘elsewhere’. These are deaths in which we are complicit and responsible. Without that double standard, perhaps we could have avoided these deaths at home.

“Some will try and use this tragedy to justify repressive policies against Muslims, refugees, and all those who resist in working class areas. We are in permanent danger, we are under permanent suspicion, we are permanent targets and we are presumed guilty.”

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